A strike by container truckers crippled port shipments four months ago but drivers say the deal that ended the dispute hasn't yet brought them the promised relief from rate undercutting.

A strike by container truckers crippled port shipments four months ago but drivers say the deal that ended the dispute hasn't yet brought them the promised relief from rate undercutting.

Port truckers dispute could erupt again

Union demands speedy crackdown on rate undercutting in wake of container trucking strike settlement

Unionized container truckers say the province and Port Metro Vancouver haven’t done enough to crack down on rate undercutting within their industry since a deal ended a 28-day strike this spring.

New minimum rates were supposed to be enforced – complaints would be investigated by the province and then the port could suspend or even ban offending companies from access to the container terminals.

Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle said the province promised to enact legislation in the fall to do its part, but the union’s members feel that may not come fast enough.

“It could erupt very quickly into another dispute,” McGarrigle said of the simmering tensions.

Unionized drivers’ jobs are at risk because their companies are losing work to cut-rate non-union trucking firms that don’t abide by the minimum rates, he said.

“If we have a company with 50 trucks and all of a sudden 20 of us aren’t going to be working because someone isn’t playing by the terms of the action plan, are we suppposed to just sit and wait at home while the province has its summer vacation?”

He said minimum rates agreed in the strike settlement were to have been in effect within 30 days of the return to work in late March.

“Here we are 100-plus days out and they haven’t taken the necessary measures to backstop the action plan to make it binding,” McGarrigle said.

Port Metro Vancouver spokesman John Parker-Jervis said the port has set up a whistleblower line where container truckers can lodge complaints on matters from rate undercutting to excessive waits at port terminals.

The line has been in place four weeks and has received more than 100 complaints so far.

Parker-Jervis said there haven’t been any licence suspensions yet but  a number of investigations are ongoing.

He said the port has made substantial progress on completing the Joint Action Plan that ended the strike.

The port doesn’t directly employ truckers or control rates – unionized drivers have collective agreements with the firms they work for while non-union drivers have different rate structures with their employers.

Completed measures include the opening of terminals at night to reduce congestion and installation of GPS units in all trucks to improve efficiency and so drivers can be compensated for unreasonable waits.

A statement from Transportation Minister Todd Stone emailed by his staff said the province is working through the summer to complete the remaining commitments from the strike settlement and thanked truckers “for their patience and restraint.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The volume of visitors to White Rock’s Marine Drive over the weekend has led council to consider special measures this week. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock council rejects resident-only parking for waterfront

Other health and safety measures to be considered in a special meeting Wednesday

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Vehicles line up for the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival at the Chilliwack Coliseum parking lot on March 27. The touring event comes to Cloverdale this weekend, April 24-25 (Photo: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)
Here are the food trucks coming to Cloverdale for a drive-thru festival this weekend

Nine trucks will be parked Saturday, nine Sunday during event at fairgrounds

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Parts of Surrey, North Delta to get AstraZeneca vaccines for people ages 40+

A total of seven communities in Surrey and Delta will be targeted

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)
VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A man has died after being shot at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park the evening of Monday, April 19. (Twitter/IHIT)
1 man dead after shooting at Coquitlam park: IHIT

The gunman is still at large, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Most Read